Words to Live By


My beloved grandmother was a humorous lady with a knack for catchy, comedic phrases. When she passed away, my relatives and I vacillated between sharing sweet remembrances and quoting all her best (and most hilarious) lines. Her words have a life of their own now, as my daughters often hear me repeat my grandmother’s little funnies. Oddly enough, my favorite saying of hers is both nondescript and nonsensical. It’s special to me simply because it was hers. Sometimes words linger because they were of some significance, and sometimes they just linger because of the significance of who said them. In today’s passage from Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, I believe it is a case of both.

  • Whose words are important to you?

READ THE WORD: 2 Thessalonians 3:16-18 (ESV)

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand, which is how I write in every letter. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


  1. According to Paul, who gave peace and how was it given (vs. 16)?
  2. Paul dictated his letter to the Thessalonians until these last few verses. Why was it important for Paul to write his closing words not only in this letter, but “in every letter” (vs. 17)?
  3. Why would proof of authenticity be important for the hearers of this letter and for the early church, especially considering Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 concerning false teachers?
  4. Do you believe that Jesus is the giver of peace at all times and in every way? When you pray, do you ask Jesus to be with you and to give you his grace and peace?


At first glance, these words appear to be just a standard refrain; after all, it was Paul’s custom to open and close his letters to early Christians with a message of grace and peace. But in these closing prayers for the Thessalonians, he offered a tender reminder to a new community of Christians that peace and grace—and the abiding presence of Jesus himself—was available to them all and in every way. As we read these verses almost 2,000 years later, may the authentic words of the apostle be our words to live by as well.

  • Spend some time thanking Jesus for being the giver of peace and grace.
  • Throughout your day, ask Jesus to be with you and to fill your heart with his peace and grace.